EcoCash and its South African partners have secured approval from the South Africa Reserve Bank to start a cross border remittance service from South Africa.
The approval allows Zimbabweans living in South Africa to send money directly to any Econet Wireless number anywhere in Zimbabwe using EcoCash. However, Econet said in a statement that it will take several weeks for the service to be fully established. “However, we should be up and running by the end of next month.”
The approval, which took over eighteen months to secure, will come as a major relief for Zimbabweans working in South Africa, as it takes out the hassles and challenges of sending money to relatives. It will be as accessible, quick and convenient as making a “Cash-In” to EcoCash in Zimbabwe.
By making the process of sending money from South Africa highly accessible, quicker and more convenient, Zimbabweans living in South Africa will be able to send remittances of even less than R50 at affordable rates.
Econet predicts that the new service will fundamentally alter the pattern of remittances which today is characterized by large, lump sum transfers of around R1 000 being sent monthly or every several months. Econet is hoping that this innovative “micro-remittance” solution will stimulate increased remittances into Zimbabwe which will help ease liquidity challenges in the economy.